Here’s what Georgia coach Mark Richt had to say after Saturday night’s 35-21 loss to Boise State in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game at the Georgia Dome.
Q: Opening statement:
A: “Congratulations to Boise State. They just beat us tonight. They were better than we were and my hats off to them. Our players understand understand that and our players understand that we’ve got to get a lot done before we play next week and open Southeastern Confewrence play. We’ve got a lot of work to do. We know that everybody’s 0-0 in league play. Our goal is to win the Eastern Division and that’s not changing. So we have to get ready for that. Boise State did a great job tonight and I congratulate them. Questions? . . .
Oh, I have an announcement. (Bacarri) Rambo is eligible to play next week. He was suspended for the first game for the usual team rules violation. Carlton Thomas will play next week, too.
Q: It looked like y’all were trying to execute a hurry-up offense and send in plays after the from the line of scrimmage after the defense was set. Was that the case and how’d you think the offense played?
A: “We did try to go up-tempo. Tried to run some no –huddle. We tried to spread it out a little more and get some of our guys out in space. We didn’t have an awful lot of success. Historically, Boise State’s defense has been pretty good. It’s not like they’re not one of the top defenses in America. But I think we’ll continue to do that. I don’t think we’re going to stop trying to do that. No matter what you do offensively, whether you go no-huddle or not, you’ve got to execute, you’ve got to get first downs, you’ve got to make plays. Whether we huddled or not I don’t know if that had any bearing on it.”
Q: What are you most disappointed about?
A: “First of all that we lost the game. I think our protection on third down was a little disappointing. The majority of our sacks came on third down. First and second down I thought we protected pretty good. Offensively that was an issue. Defensively we just couldn’t get them off the field once they got going in the second half. Just didn’t get them off the field enough.
Q: Your defense did not record a sack. Why couldn’t you get any pressure on Kellen Moore?
A: “He’s a very good player so he knows where to go with the ball and when to go there. They protected him well, too. He rarely got knocked down. We forced him a couple of times to throw the ball a little sooner than he wanted to, but we didn’t get any sacks. . . . We didn’t get enough pressure on him.”
Q: How would you assess the running game?
A: “It wasn’t real clean. They did a couple of things differently. They did a little more stunting and late movement. But we just didn’t block it clean enough to give them some space to run. The backs had to earn everything they got.”
Q: Your impressions of Boise State?
A: “We went in having an awful lot of respect for them.. We knew they were a very good football team. They were good on both sides of the ball. Very veteran defensive football team. An awful lot of experience on the offensive side of the ball as well. And they get after it. They did a great job.”
Q: What kind of adjustments do you need to make for South Carolina?
A: “We get a little time to think about what kind of adjustments we’ll have to do. We’ll have to do a better job than we did a year ago on quick screens and things of that nature. But we’ve got time to work on all that.”
Q: What’d you think of playing in the Chick-fil-A Kickoff Game?
A: “It was a big game, a big atmosphere. I thought the crowd was into it. The kids were excited on both sides. Everybody was excited. There was a lot of buzz around the city, a lot of buzz around the Dome and inside the Dome. It’s a great venue and a great game to play.”
Q: How bad are the injuries to Alec Ogletree and Kenarious Gates and how’d it affect your team’s play?
A: “Ogletree was probably, between Christian Robinson and Ogletree, we couldn’t really afford to lose one of those two guys. The drop off was going to be pretty steep, with true freshmen and a walk-on in there. They’re good kids and they’re busting their tails, but it was a position we felt we really couldn’t afford that type of an injury. I have to get with Ron [Courson] to find out exactly what’s going on with Tree. Gates leaving was not good for Georgia and not good for Gates. But Dallas [Lee] was a guy we felt comfortable could go in there and play guard. I’ll have to watch the filmto see how he did.
“As a coach you don’t want anybody to get hurt, but at certain spots you feel like you might could take a hit and be OK. The linebacker position was one we weren’t too thrilled about losing anybody and, of course, we lost Alec.”
Q: Did you think your team was too hyped up?
A: “I thought both teams were a little overly excited early on and made some mistakes. But I thought everybody settled down relatively quick.”
Q: Did you think poor field position cost you?
A: “We were in a bind. We decided to take the ball first and didn’t get much going. Maybe we were too excited or whatever you want to say and then we were a little backed up. But then we had the long touchdown by [Brandon] Boykin and then we were back to normal field position after that. So it didn’t really cost us.”
Q: Why did you not kick the field goal on the fourth-and-one you got stopped?
A: “I decided to go for it. I did that because I felt like we could get one yard. I also felt like more than likely touchdowns wwere going to be needed to win the game. I know we’ve got a great field goal kicker and he could’ve made that one. Maybe in hindsight we should have kicked. If I had known we were going to get stuffed I would have kicked the field goal at that time.”
Q: How big of a momentum changer was it for Boise State to score at the end of the fist half and the beginning of the second?
A: “It was big. They got a two possession lead. But as early as it was in the second half, it wasn’t like everybody was in panic mode or anything like that.”
Q: How did you think Isaiah Crowell and Malcolm Mitchell did in their first games?
A: “I think both of them did well. I think Isaiah, I’ll have to watch the film, but my guess is he got about as much as he could get out of what he had to deal with. Of course Malcolm made a couple of nice plays. He had the reverse and three catches and a touchdown. He’s a good football player. Those guys got a bright future.”
Q: How do you team get your team up off the mat and motivated after putting so much into this first game?
A: “I was encouraged by the reaction of our seniors especailluy in the locker room afterwards. They were encouraging everybody to get to work. Southeastern Conference play hasn’t even started and it’s a long season. We’;ve got to get our minds right. After a game like this, there’s no question we know more about our team than if we had played somebody we might’ve beaten by 40. So hopefully that will translate into us having a better idea of how to play these types of games and help us see where our weaknesses are.”